This week, British comedian Ricky Gervais joined animal-rights group In Defense of Animals (IDA) to promote Fur Free Friday, a campaign to educate shoppers about the true cost of fur and encourage major retailers to ban fur sales on November 27 (Black Friday). Gervais will join IDA for a virtual Fur Free Friday event and is calling upon shoppers to ditch fur. “If you buy fur then you buy cruelty,” Gervais said. “Beautiful, innocent, intelligent animals, tortured to death for fashion. Shame on you. Disgusting. I stand with In Defense of Animals against the cruel fur trade.” This year, major retailers Macy’s and Nordstrom have banned fur and IDA is urging other major retailers, including Neiman Marcus and Saks Fifth Avenue, to follow. 

The global fur industry is currently on a downward trajectory for a number of reasons, including a growing distaste for the cruelly begotten material among consumers, fur bans implemented by major brands (such as Gucci, Prada, and DKNY), retail stores, and fashion runways; and legislative fur bans in cities, states, and countries around the world. The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has further pushed the global fur industry into a tailspin after the virus was found (in some cases in a mutated form) on mink fur farms in the Netherlands, Spain, the United States, and Denmark, leading to a mass killing of mink as a precautionary measure. Last week, Kopenhagen Fur—the largest fur auction house in the world—announced that it would close within the next two to three years, marking what animal-rights groups believe could signal the downfall of the global fur industry.